Carrying on with our personal stories, told by the gnomes. This one is a little different as the interview was conducted by Cassie Leigh, edited by me, and the gnome being interviewed was not there for the whole thing, so his story is a mixture of his own and a retelling the story of his mother. If you have not read the previous three articles in this series, then I’d recommend doing so.
Disclaimer warning is warranted here, I think. This article deals with loss, deaths, maiming, personal horror, and related topics. If this sounds like something you don't need more of in your life, then please stop reading now, and if you are generally struggling with mental health then please seek help, whether that is in the form of talking to friends, family or a spiritual counsellor.
Cassie Leigh: "First of all, may I ask your name?"
Bruce Medcog: "Bruce Medcog ma'am."
Cassie Leigh: "I know it's a difficult topic, so sorry in advance if I strike a nerve. You can just freely start telling me about it, or, if you want, I can ask some questions to direct the interview?"
The other day a gnome approached me, I had been shouting that I was looking for gnomes to interview about Gnomeregan, and said gnome felt it was hurtful - as it was forcing gnomes to remember the trauma. It unfortunately led to a larger argument which went on some time. I respect his opinion, but these are stories which needs to be told, and we have tried to be respectful, not only concerning the topic itself, but also how we conduct these interviews. We aren't looking for drama. We are simply looking to retell the stories and put it into a larger context. Just like Gilneas, Hillsbrad, Stromgarde, Teldrassil, Theramore, Lordereaon, Grim Batol and so so many other tragedies should not be forgotten, then neither should Gnomeregan, or the sacrifice gnomes made and still make daily.
Bruce Medcog: "Well at start of the fall I was serving in my current capacity as a medic. I... was...I was of course... completely out my depth with what I was dealing with, the radiation you see? those exposed to a lot of it... were beyond anyone’s capabilities to save, we did not have the right medicines for a lot of people. A lot of people under my care died. My mother was also in the same situation, her names Ana she is a herbalist and a medic like myself, I learned everything I know from her..."
Cassie Leigh: "Take your time. I know this can be difficult. We can stop at any moment."
No lead up this time, fortunately Ana, his mother is still alive, and despite being ill and struggling, then she did survive the ordeal.
Bruce Medcog: "She still suffers due to the radiation damage to this day, has to take constant medicine."
Cassie Leigh: "Aaah... How does it affect her?"
Bruce Medcog: "Her skin has discoloration, she has struggles with even simply moving her bones.. ache.. is medicine for that Earthroot helps, skeletal structure, she is on other medication also but.. thats one of the main ones. But that was due to her job as a medic, she got exposed helping others."
Cassie Leigh: "You're both heroes, in my eyes. You exposed yourself to those effects for the good of others, and you pay the price even now."
Bruce Medcog: "I am not, she is though ma'am. Everything I know, I owe it to her."
Cassie Leigh: "Sorry, didn't mean to insult you."
Bruce Medcog: "Oh you did not, I just.. yeah.. that word is to big for me."
Cassie Leigh: "Do you maybe have any specific story to recount? Something to really showcase her sacrifice?"
Bruce Medcog: "Well, I was not present for it but I did hear some of her colleagues recount to me how she got exposed so much. I personally believe it because that’s just who she is in my mind, that type of person."
Cassie Leigh: "Would you be willing to retell that story for us? Take your time with it."
Bruce Medcog: "From what I was informed she got exposed to the toxic gas when her unit was assigned to a residential section of the city to try and rescue survivors due to a recent breach of Troggs. Her unit fought its way through to the residential area and they got most.. not all.. due to the surprising attacks and breaches, a lot did not make it but.. they got most out but one house had a.. lock system, they could see what was happening outside so put on the mechanical lock and were simply.."
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Even reading the transcript of Cassie's interview I am gripped by how clear the pain is in this man’s story. Yes, his mother is alive to this day, but so many are not.
Bruce Medcog: "You know fear? it can be.. paralyzing they did not come out for fear of their own self, was a mother and her child. But that fear cost them, the lock malfunctioned due to the breaches destroying the power. At this point gas.. had started to leak into their home, before it could get any worse her commander decided to destroy the door with a device, risky due to the gas but was only option. They pulled back, door was blown and my mother put on her gas mask and went to their aid. She got them out but.. she had..Given the child the gasmask when she had entered, thats how she got so much exposure. The child lives, as does the mother. But my mother Ana, she is.. still suffering."
Cassie Leigh: "I'm sorry to hear that, really. But it also confirms to me that your mother is indeed a hero. And I'll make sure that everyone will know. Her name is Ana Medcog, then?"
Bruce Medcog: "She is, to me to her daughters also. She would not claim it though. She is yes, most gnomes.. take new names when they achieve something but.. I wanted to take her name out of respect for her teachings to me and.. to carry on in her name. As I said, she taught me everything I know."
A lot of gnomes are quite humble in my experience, and this is another such case. Despite having suffered so much, and dealing with the damage from radiation on a daily basis, then his mother and himself - refuses to accept the accolades which Cassie is rightfully trying to bestow upon them. Perhaps it is a lingering feeling that despite what they did - then it was not enough? I do wonder if this a trait which is common amongst rescue personal in catastrophic situations like the fall of Gnomeregan.
Cassie Leigh: "She must be proud of you. You seem like a wonderful son."
Bruce Medcog: "Sometimes, been trying to get her Heather honey I ordered from Otarin a friend of mine a week ago, she keeps reminding me to get it. So not all that wonderful heh."
Cassie Leigh: "Well, nobody's perfect. "
Bruce Medcog: "But yes I am.. lucky to have a mother and two sisters survive the fall and a brother even but.. my father he.. perished early on. More than most gnomes can say."
Cassie Leigh: "But thank you for that story. Do we have your permission to print it?"
Bruce Medcog: "I mean.. I should be asking my mother permission to print but.."
Cassie Leigh: "Personally, I feel like that story should be known."
Bruce Medcog: "She would never agree to it as its not.. really her.. thing to admit what she did, as I said I only learned about it from her fellow unit members. You can print it but sweet bucket of bolts I am in big trouble."
Cassie Leigh: "Thank you. Just say it's my fault. "
Bruce Medcog: "No no its mine but.. its nice of the paper and you to.. put a story on this."
Hopefully Ana Medcog may not hate us too much for bringing this story - it is a powerful one and I feel it is a good contrast to the story from Wizzlesprigg F.C. Endeltire who in his story talked about selfish behaviour and a loss of faith in gnomanity to some extent. I hope he reads the above and is reminded that while everyone - even gnomes - can be selfish at times of great need, then the opposite people also exists, the ones who has little regards for their own suffering if it means saving others in need. When you go to the bar tonight for a drink, then raise your glass and cheer for the unsung heroes, and their untold stories. Ana Medcog included.
The next and last personal story in this series of articles is the story of Bertel Wobblespring.